404 Is Your Back Pain Really A Structural Issue? | Dr. Adam Fogelman

Is Your Back Pain Really A Structural Issue?

Muscle to organ correlation
25 Mar 2011

Muscle to organ correlation

Just last week I had a new patient who came into my office suffering from constant, dull, achy pain on both sides of her mid to lower back. This discomfort went from the base of the hips on both sides, all the way up to the middle of her back near her shoulder blades. She had seen two chiropractors in the past 6 months and even though the pain would decrease after an adjustment, it would never go away completely and would come back a day or two later.

After assessing her mid and lower back for structural work, which she did need, I asked about her sugar intake? With curiosity, she looked at me and wanted to know why I asked about her diet, but also surprised, as if she were caught in the act of something. My new patient said the last 6 to 7 months had been very stressful with work, traveling, etc and she had been eating a lot more sugar than she had in the past.

The muscle pain pattern she was describing was the latissimus dorsi muscle (known as the swimmer’s muscle). These muscles, also known as the “lats,” are the broadest muscles in the body and found attaching to the mid to lower part of the spine, base of the hips and the lower 3 ribs. It comes up towards the shoulder blade and wraps under the arm pit to attach on the front of the shoulder. I advised her that each muscle correlates to a different organ and when I assess a patient, I look at not only the structural component, but I also address the nutritional, dietary and emotional components as well. It is important to find the root cause of a patient’s symptoms, as opposed to addressing just the area(s) in question, which may not even be the issue.

The latissimus dorsi muscle correlates to the pancreas, which is responsible for regulating the intake of sugar through the production of insulin and the breakdown of various foods through specific enzymes. When someone eats too much sugar on a consistent basis, the pancreas works extra hard, becomes overloaded continually producing insulin to combat the sugar intake, stresses out and then burns out. Over time, the pancreas will be sluggish and function slowly. Some of the symptoms that will show up could range from digestive issues to increased sugar-related issues such as skin issues, sleep problems, body stiffness, an inability to focus on a task and…correlating muscle symptoms, such as the above described!

Lat Dorsi Muscle

After several treatments involving Applied Kinesiology muscle testing to find the cause and correction of the problem, chiropractic adjustments to the bones that contain the nerves to the pancreas, myofasical release on the muscles to turn the stressed fibers back on for the muscle to relax, spot-focused lymphatic drainage on the pancreas and thoracic duct, NAET clearing for sugar, nutritional support to help stimulate the pancreas and a change in her diet involving getting rid of the sugar as well as increasing her water intake to flush out her system, the pain went away completely with no return in her symptoms.

Middle and lower back pain doesn’t need to be a structural problem in itself. Along with an overloaded pancreas, adrenal fatigue and kidney stress can all cause and refer pain to different areas of the back as well as create digestive issues; such as diarrhea and constipation, which can both be caused by a sluggish functioning ileocecal valve (a valve between the small intestine and the large intestine that is supposed to regulate the flow of fecal matter).

For more information, any questions, comments or you would like to make an appointment to get your concerns met, please feel free to email at doc@drfogelman.com or call us at 858-523-8281.


Dr. Adam Fogelman


  1. I have pain in my rt lower back shooting down to my rt knee. At times, I cannot drive more than 15-20 minutes, the pain is so intense. Could it be my sciatic nerve and does diet affect that. I try not to overload on sugar. Maybe I should drink more water during the day? I don’t even eat lunch. However, I do not get enough exercise. I have knee pain constantly and have to stretch out my leg, especially the rt knee, to ease the pain. I am trying to avoid knee replacement and hope this isn’t hip related. Please give me advice to the above e-mail address. Thank you so much. Mary M

  2. I feel I have similar kind of problem but not sure what’s going on with my upper back. Last year I took personal trainer sessions after which I had upper back pain, finger stiffness, numbness, headaches. When I tried to swim after I thought the problem went away, it came back with bad headaches and it was pretty bad. Later I had physiotherapy, thought it went away, but got worse after trying to do the Jillian Micheal’s 30 day shred. I tried yoga but it had become worse and now the pain is constantly there and I don’t exactly know where it’s originating from. I had a cervical MRI which showed 2 bulging disks at C4-5 and C5-6 effacing the thecal sac. I feel it’s the lattisimus dorsi muscle (could be rhomboids too) and it’s mostly on the right side. This pain is disabling me from doing anything involving my back. I have corrected my posture too (used to have a forward neck and rounded shoulders). Could the bulging disk be causing this kind of pain or is it just the muscle. I am 26 yrs old and it’s bothering me so much to be in pain all the time. Could you please advice me on what I can do to help my problem? Thank you, Chandu

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